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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday - Going to the Dogs..

A Sunday Rose for you before I inundate you with doggie photos!

It was a nice Sunday morning. I spent sometime in the back with the dogs. Excuse the landscaping. With the hubby's leg broken, I have been the major landscaper here. I don't think I need to explain further. (by the way, hubby has the final surgery on Wednesday and he will take his first steps in over 3 months!)

So we have our Editor in Chief Dexter. I think everyone knows him by now. But I feel sort of bad if I haven't mentioned much about Lele. She is my eight year old chubby Chihuahua. She is a sweet gal, and we really do love her. She is just sort of a dog-dog, and not so much a human dog. But since I haven't mentioned her much I will put her picture up first. Here she is smiling in the sun. Dexter loves her and lets her boss him around completely. She doesn't take any crap from Dexter.

We have a new addition to the house. My daughter moved back home (YAY) and we have Lola. Lola is a one year old Chihuahua mix. You can see the Chihuahua in her, but we are not sure what else. Anyway, she is a smart and lovable and gets along well with Lele and Dexter. Here she is. I think she looks like Bill Mahr. (I kid Bill Mahr).

Here they are in some sort of Doggie Meeting. ( I don't trust them, neither does Dexter, he is really focused).

Dexter loves it when the girls follow him around. He also loves when they get into a fight. He just stands and watches. He looks amused, almost like he is saying.. "chick fight.. chick fight."

And then there is Dexter. Why do some have all the good looks? I just don't know. Dexter says "hey don't hate me cause I am beautiful, I got good genes. " Here is his good boy pose. Don't let it fool you. I have paw prints on my freshly made bed to prove it..

Here is a good hunting shot. "what can I find? what can I eat? what can I destroy?"

Just cooling off the toes.

And he does sit up for ice cubes.

Basically in the next shot he is watching those girls because you just can't trust them.

Happy Saturday. This post is for all the Read A Ton-ers!! Good job everyone! I thought some pictures might be good on the eyes today. Have a great week.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ansel Adams In Color - A Review by Toni

About the Author (s)

In a career that spanned six decades, Ansel Adams was at once America's foremost landscape photographer and one of its most ardent environmentalists. His work has been published in a multitude of books, posters, and calendars.

Andrea G. Stillman, who worked with Adams in the 1970s, has edited several books of his photographs and writings, including Letters and Images: 1916-1984, Our National Parks, and Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs. She lives in New York City.

John P. Schaefer was a student, collaborator, and close friend of Ansel Adams, and is currently the president of Research Corporation and a Trustee of The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. In 1975, as president of the University of Arizona, he helped found the Center for Creative Photography. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

About the Book:

Toward the end of his life Ansel Adams wrote, "People are skeptical about my thoughts on color. I do not blame them, as I have protested it and have not shown color pictures. I feel the urge now and only wish I was sixty years younger!"

Adams began to photograph in color in the mid-1930s. He did significant personal or "creative" photography in color, and his distinctive visualization of a scene and technical mastery is immediately evident in his color photographs. Overall, he made nearly 3,500 color images, but only a small fraction have ever been published.

Adams thought seriously about publishing his color images but the task was not accomplished during his lifetime. The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust--with advice and counsel from John Szarkowski, former Director of Photography at New York's Museum of Modern Art; David Travis, Curator of Photographs at the Art Institute of Chicago; and James Enyeart, former Director of the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House--asked the distinguished master photographer Harry Callahan to select the best of Adams' color work for publication in this book.

Accompanied by an introductory essay by Enyeart, and a selection of Adams' fascinating, often contradictory writings on color photography, these magnificent color images add a new dimension to Adams' enduring legacy.
My review:
I was thrilled to have the chance to review this stunning book. Thank you Anna at Hachette Book Group for providing me a copy to review. I have always been fond of Ansel Adam's work especially the photo shots of my favorite place Yosemite, California. I can not begin to describe the joy it was to get this book and literally curl up on the sofa with my coffee and look at the color photos. I will not lie, I looked at the photos first before reading the wonderful introduction and essay. But in the same sitting I did go back and read all of the introduction and essay. It was remarkable to finish up the book with a section that includes Adam's thoughts/writings on color photography.

Some of my favorite shots include:
  • Yosemite Valley from the Esplanade, Yosemite National Park, California 1948
  • Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California 1953
  • Detail of the Alaska Range, Denali National Park and Reserve, Alaska 1948
  • Mount Mckinley, Grass, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska 1948

This is by far the best book to grace my coffee table in a long time. I highly recommend the book. The holidays are approaching and this would be a remarkable gift. I do not think anyone would be disappointed with this book. I don't usually give ratings on books but I do give this one five stars.

I am far from finished looking at this book. As a matter of fact, I got caught up in it all over again trying to get my notes for this review. Since you see this post, you will know that finally I was able to tear myself away from the clutches of this book and write.

Have a Great Day!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Winners - The Heretic's Daughter

The Winners!!!
The Heretic's Daughter
Kathleen Kent

RAnn -
Anna - Diary of an Eccentric

Congrats to you all! Thank you Valerie From Hachette books for this fantastic book Giveaway.

Don't forget to check out the great Reading Group Guide with this one.

I will send emails out to you this weekend. Feel free to forward your mailing address to me if you want in advance. Thanks for participating. If you didn't win, I do hear that this one is a good one, so treat yourself.

I have three fresh giveaways posted to day also. Good luck.

For more information on this book, Check out my Giveaway Post here and click on some of the links!

A Change In Altitude, A Novel, by Anita Shreve - Hachette Audiobook Giveaway

By Anita Shreve, read by the author and Anna Stone

Okay, three times is a charm! This is the third giveaway announcement of the day! Thanks to Anna at Hachette Books, I have three copies of the Audio CD for Anita Shreve's, A Change in Altitude.

Full Description:

Margaret and Patrick have been married just a few months when they set off on what they hope will be a great adventure-a year living in Kenya. Margaret quickly realizes there is a great deal she doesn't know about the complex mores of her new home, and about her own husband.

A British couple invites the newlyweds to join on a climbing expedition to Mount Kenya, and they eagerly agree. But during their harrowing ascent, a horrific accident occurs. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Margaret struggles to understand what happened on the mountain and how these events have transformed her and her marriage, perhaps forever.

A Change in Altitude illuminates the inner landscape of a couple, the irrevocable impact of tragedy, and the elusive nature of forgiveness. With stunning language and striking emotional intensity, Anita Shreve transports us to the exotic panoramas of Africa and into the core of our most intimate relationships.

Author Information:
Anita Shreve is the acclaimed author of fourteen previous novels, including Testimony; The Pilot's Wife, which was a selection of Oprah's Book Club; and The Weight of Water, which was a finalist for England's Orange prize. She lives in Massachusetts.

Become a Fan on Facebook.
Listen to an Excerpt.

Rules, Rules, Rules:

US and Canada Only / No P.O. Boxes

All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment on this blog post with a valid email address. You will get one entry into a random drawing. If you follow my blog, you get extra entry. If you care to share then send a tweet, a facebook post, or bl0g about this contest! This contest will end on November 10, winners announced on or about November 11th. Good Luck.

Say You're One of Them, by Uwem Akpan - Hachette Audio Giveaway

Thanks To Anna from Hachette Books, I have another great giveaway! I have three copies to offer. This is for an audio CD set for Say You're One of Them, by Uwem Akpan

“Each one of these stories left me really gasping and profoundly moved.” – Oprah Winfrey

Full Description

Uwem Akpan's stunning stories humanize the perils of poverty and violence so piercingly that few readers will feel they've ever encountered Africa so immediately. The eight-year-old narrator of "An Ex-Mas Feast" needs only enough money to buy books and pay fees in order to attend school. Even when his twelve-year-old sister takes to the streets to raise these meager funds, his dream can't be granted. Food comes first. His family lives in a street shanty in Nairobi, Kenya, but their way of both loving and taking advantage of each other strikes a universal chord.

In the second of his stories published in a New Yorker special fiction issue, Akpan takes us far beyond what we thought we knew about the tribal conflict in Rwanda. The story is told by a young girl, who, with her little brother, witnesses the worst possible scenario between parents. They are asked to do the previously unimaginable in order to protect their children. This singular collection will also take the reader inside Nigeria, Benin, and Ethiopia, revealing in beautiful prose the harsh consequences for children of life in Africa.
Akpan's voice is a literary miracle, rendering lives of almost unimaginable deprivation and terror into stories that are nothing short of transcendent.

About the Author:
Uwem Akpan was born in Ikot Akpan Eda in southern Nigeria. After studying philosophy and English at Creighton and Gonzaga universities, he studied theology for three years at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. He was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 2003 and received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2006. "My Parents' Bedroom," a story from his short story collection, Say You're One of Them, was one of five short stories by African writers chosen as finalists for The Caine Prize for African Writing 2007.

This contest will end on November 10th, Winners announced on or about November 11th.

US and Canada Only.
No. P.O. Boxes

You simply need to leave a comment on this blog with a valid email address. Follows get an extra entry. Tweet, Facebook, or blog about this contest and you get three extra entries. FIVE total entries! What are you waiting for?

Check back to A Circle of Books as I will be reviewing this book soon!

Michael Connelly's Nine Dragons - Hachette Audio Book Giveaway!!

Listen to an excerpt!


LAPD Detective Harry Bosch is off the chain in the fastest, fiercest, and highest-stakes case of his life.

Fortune Liquors is a small shop in a tough South L.A. neighborhood, a store Bosch has known for years. The murder of John Li, the store's owner, hits Bosch hard, and he promises Li's family that he'll find the killer.

The world Bosch steps into next is unknown territory. He brings in a detective from the Asian Gang Unit for help with translation--not just of languages but also of the cultural norms and expectations that guided Li's life. He uncovers a link to a Hong Kong triad, a lethal and far-reaching crime ring that follows many immigrants to their new lives in the U.S.
And instantly his world explodes. The one good thing in Bosch's life, the person he holds most dear, is taken from him and Bosch travels to Hong Kong in an all-or-nothing bid to regain what he's lost. In a place known as Nine Dragons, as the city's Hungry Ghosts festival burns around him, Bosch puts aside everything he knows and risks everything he has in a desperate bid to outmatch the triad's ferocity.

About the Author:
Michael Connelly, a #1 New York Times bestselling novelist and a former journalist, has won numerous crime fiction prizes. He lives in Florida. For more information, visit www.michaelconnelly.com.

I have 3 copies, thanks to Anna at Hachette Books This is an audio book on CD.

Okay, the Rules:
US and Canada ONLY.
No P.O. Boxes.
My rule: This title is for 18 and older.

You simply leave a comment here on this post with a valid email address and you get entered to win. If you follow my blog I throw in an extra entry. If you blog, tweet, or facebook this little giveaway. You get 3 more entry. 5 Max! Go for it and Good luck!

Winners will be announced November 8th or Shortly after........

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mailbox Monday 10/18/2009

Hello and Happy Monday!

Welcome to Mailbox Monday Hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page.

I am so please with the book I got this week, I received an ARC of:

Knit the Season, Kate Jacobs
Thank you Lydia from Penguin books for sending me this ARC.
I am so excited to be reviewing this book. I got off work early on Friday and had no choice but to cuddle up and start reading. I mean can you blame me. I love the gals of the Friday Night Knitting Club. And I can't think of a better way to start the holiday season.

Description from Penguin:

Another heartwarming Friday Night Knitting Club novel from #1 New York Times–bestselling author Kate Jacobs.

Knit the Season is a loving, moving, laugh-out-loud celebration of special times with friends and family. The story begins a year after the end of Knit Two, with Dakota Walker’s trip to spend the Christmas holidays with her Gran in Scotland, accompanied by her father, her grandparents, and her mother’s best friend, Catherine. Together, they share a trove of happy memories about past Christmases with Dakota’s mom, Georgia Walker, from Georgia’s childhood to her blissful time as a doting new mom. From Thanksgiving through Hanukkah and Christmas to New Year’s, Knit the Season is a story about the richness of family bonds and the joys of friendship.

Knit the Season is a loving, moving, laugh-out-loud celebration of special times with friends and family. The story begins a year after the end of Knit Two, with Dakota Walker’s trip to spend the Christmas holidays with her Gran in Scotland—accompanied by her father, her grandparents, and her mother’s best friend, Catherine. Together, they share a trove of happy memories about Christmases past with Dakota’s mom, Georgia Walker—from Georgia’s childhood to her blissful time as a doting new mom. From Thanksgiving through Hanukkah and Christmas to New Year’s, Knit the Season is a novel about the richness of family bonds and the joys of friendship.

Click here to see a complete list of Kate Jacobs Tour this fall.

For anyone that is waiting for Knit Two to appear in paperback, please note that November 3rd is the date. If you want to see my review. Check it out here.

I have been in and out of blogland these days as it has been hard to keep up with my cross country road trip, but I look forward to blogging, reading and commenting with everyone this wonderful fall and into the winter season.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Check out this cool widget everyone!

Hey Everyone! I had a great time with the recent giveaway for Traveling with Pomegranates! I just wanted to share this really cool widget! If anyone is reading the book or has a review, feel free to link your review here. This is one I hope to read soon.

How to Rule the World from Your Couch, by Laura Day - Winners!!!!

How to Rule the World from Your Couch, by Laura Day.

The Winners are:

Congrats to the winners. I will send you an email.

If you didn't win:

You can buy the book here or here

Thank you Katrina of Wiredset for the great giveaway. Thanks to everyone for entering.

For more information on this book please see my giveaway post.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mailbox Monday 10/5/2009

Happy Monday!

My mailbox was empty, but a book did find it's way into my home.

What came in your mailbox? Check out this fun weekly activity hosted
by Marcia at the Printed Page.

I got The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown.
I am very eager to read it. I cracked it open right away and dug in. I was immediately drawn into the story.

Sorry for the pictureless post. They are never that fun, but I have a ton of deadlines personal and work related. I will be poppin' by your mailboxes this week.

Have a great weekend. I hope you turn a lot of pages.

Hachette Book Giveaway - The Heretic's Daughter

Hachette Book Giveaway - October
The Heretic's Daughter
Kathleen Kent
Reading Group Guide
If you are in a book club like I am, then the Reading Group Guides are an invaluable tool for discussion. Please check it out. I am hoping that my book club will pick this book for a club read in the near future. (Pageturners.. hint hint)

Become a Fan on Facebook

Listen to a clip

Download the podcast

A bit about the book

Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live.

Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft.

This is the story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.

Kathleen Kent is a tenth generation descendant of Martha Carrier. She paints a haunting portrait, not just of Puritan New England, but also of one family's deep and abiding love in the face of fear and persecution.

Thanks to Valerie at Hachette Book Group, A Circle of Books is offering five copies of this book. This giveaway will run through October 20th, winners announced shortly after that date.
US/Canada Only, No P.O. boxes

To Enter:
Leave a comment with an email address and you will get one entry in my random drawing. For five additional entries post, tweet, or facebook about this contest. If you follow this blog mention it and I will throw in an extra entry for you!

Good Luck everyone.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October Giveaway - How to Rule the World from Your Couch

How to Rule the World from Your Couch, by Laura Day

Read an excerpt:

On Sale October 6th

Pre-order Here or Here

In her new book, How to Rule the World from Your Couch, Laura Day teaches you or your company how to create success in any area by using your brain in unique and compel-ling ways so that your innate intuition can propel you ahead to successful solutions.

Laura's work has helped demystify intuition and demonstrate its practical, verifiable uses in the fields of business, science, medicine, and personal growth. Her list of clients and students includes doctors, financial investors, scientists, engineers, and celebrities. Day has shown that 98% of success is planning and that you, therefore, have the power to transform your life.


  • “Intuition is logic. Laura Day guides you step-by-step through a systematic approach to getting in tough with this important faculty.” – Dr. James Watson, Nobel Laureate and co-discoverer of DNA
  • "How to Rule the World from Your Couch is perhaps the greatest book ever written. Everyone that's ruled the world has read it and it worked. Bill Gates, George Bush, Oprah. Saddam Hussein didn't read it and was hanged, so if you wanna rule the world and not be hanged, read this book." – Chris Rock
  • "Laura Day is a remarkable woman with remarkable abilities. But for me, what is most remarkable about her is how she has taught me to believe in myself and my own intuition. As a woman and as a mother, I have seen Laura’s commitment to educating people and releasing their fears.” –Demi Moore
  • "Laura Day teaches you how to awaken your inner genius so you can have a deeper more fulfilling experience of life." – Deepak Chopra, author of Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul
  • "I believe in the gut and I believe in Laura Day." – Brad Pitt

Laura Day:

Laura Day is the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Intuition and has spent over two decades helping companies as well as individuals use the power of intuition to achieve their dreams. Her global clientele includes celebrities, scientists, business executives, and other professionals. She speaks regularly both here and abroad, and has appeared in numerous publications (Marie Claire, People Magazine, Newsweek) and on television including CNN, The View, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Fox News, and Good Morning America.

Thanks to Katrina from Wiredset I have two copies to offer. This offer is open internationally. Good Luck. I will announce the winners sometime shortly after 10/10/2009. Good Luck.

To enter simply leave a comment with your name and email. If you follow this blog you get two entries. Winners will be selected by random drawing (random.org).

Simon's Cat - Review and Winners

My review:

Ha Ha Ha...that is what I thought of this book. It is like eating popcorn or peanuts. It is silly and addictive. I am a Simon fan now for sure. The antics of Simon the cat are hysterical. I especially like the ones where he is "one upping" the dog.

I wish to thank Anna From Hachette for this giveaway. ... and the winners of this book are:

Vicki (PT)
Aliya D
Congratulations to the winners! Look for an email from me this week to send me your mailing address. Feel Free to forward in advance. Thank you for your participation.

About the book:

Simon Tofield's animations have taken YouTube by storm. Now, the feline Internet phenomenon makes his way onto the page in this first-ever book based on the popular animated series. SIMON'S CAT depicts and exaggerates the hilarious relationship between a man and his cat. The daily escapades of this adorable pet, which always involve demanding more food, and his exasperated but doting owner come to life through Tofield's charming and hilarious illustrations.